Watsonville city manager accepts Arizona position

Will start in Avondale at the end of July

WATSONVILLE — The Avondale, Ariz. City Council is set to consider hiring Charles Montoya as its next city manager on Monday, a week after the Watsonville leader accepted the position.

If approved, Montoya, who has served as Watsonville’s city manager since late 2015, will start in Avondale on July 30.

According to the contract, Montoya would be paid a salary of $210,000, in addition to benefits.

Montoya was one of four finalists for the position in Avondale, which included two current Avondale assistant city managers.

In a statement, Montoya said he looked forward to “the future, the people and the possibilities.”

“I would like to thank the Avondale City Council, staff and community for the opportunity to be the next city manager of Avondale,” he stated.

Located about 18 miles west of Phoenix, Avondale has a population of 76,238, according to the United States Census Bureau. About 50 percent are considered Hispanic or Latino.

Montoya was hired by the Watsonville City Council in October 2015 to replace Carlos Palacios, who served as city manager for more than 18 years.

Prior to joining Watsonville, Montoya served as town manager for Florence, Ariz. for two years. He also previously served as finance director/treasurer for the Town of Castle Rock in Colorado for four years.

His contract was set to expire in November 2023. His salary is $222,000, in addition to benefits.

City officials are remaining mum on how Montoya’s position will be filled.

Watsonville City Clerk Beatriz Vazquez Flores said Wednesday that it is too early to say if the city will conduct a national search for its next city manager, or if the city council would hire from within.

Mayor Lowell Hurst cautioned that nothing was official yet until Montoya turned in his resignation.

After Palacios resigned in December 2014 to start a position at the County of Santa Cruz, the Watsonville City Council hired a consulting firm to aid in the search for a city manager.

Montoya was hired after a seven-month search.

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